This is a translation of a hymn from the Rig Veda by me. It is an invocation of the Agni devata (the Deity of Fire). In most religions Fire is sacred and symbolic of the all powerful Lord. Luminous, spreading warmth and lightning up a dark world to bring cheer to all. Whether a Hindu temple, a church, a mosque or a Parsi Fire Temple, there is always a lamp, a candle or a deepak, at the altar of worship. This hymn seems to be such a fitting prayer for our countrymen on this Independence Day. The devotee prays:
Oh Divine Fire! Burning bright and luminous on the altar:
Accept and take possession of all the offerings
That the devoted bring,
And grant us this priceless treasure :
May we come together and speak together.
May our minds be in harmony as the Gods of old
When they sat together for prayers
With minds attuned to each other.
Let our speech be one, United be the voices.
Let our minds be in Union
With the thoughts of the wise and the words I speak to thee:
Let us be united and together
Even In the sacrifice we offer to thee.
May our aim be one and the same.
May our hearts be joined as one.
May our minds rest with the peace.
That arises from true Union.
So may we be.
Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi